The morning after Christmas, I woke up glad to be alive! Let me share my feelings.
Each day in every season, we must again be willing to continue hoping. Paniwalaan: “Bukas para sa lahat ang kinabukasan!”
Faith that the openness of tomorrow brings hope, no matter the measure, the odds. Let us ponder what a privilege to still be able to say thank you and be part of a grateful world. The ability to hope and to cope is ability to express gratitude. We must never abandon the willingness to hope that faith in old values will guide our best lights. We are all in this together!
Faith. Hope. Charity. Humility. Gratitude. To each, in her and in his personal fashion.
Enough sermonizing. Let us face reality. Prepare to buckle up. There is much work to be done. With every little bit counting, perhaps infinitesimal individually at first, but powerfully meaningful ‘en masse,’ soon enough!
THE CHINESE IN ALL OF US
I have great and profound reverence for the Chinese. Yes, the Chinese in all of us. If not in our genealogy, then in our history, in our culture. Yes, in life as we live it today. Ate! Kuya! Do you hear me? But I dread the present-day intrusion of Chinese nationals from the mainland! It is bringing an all-encompassing disaster—socially, economically and politically. Are you still asleep? Be afraid. Be very afraid!
The ever-burgeoning presence of ‘mainlanders’ in our midst has been caused by the mindless absence of patriotism on the part of the authorities who have let them in, in deleterious droves! This goes way beyond opportunities for employment. National security has been opened to risk!
Let us be alarmed. Be aware. For starters, there is a ‘fifth column’ among them. It is in the very essence of China’s “Silk Road” policy. (One Belt, One Road!) A spy network has been let loose upon the world by the Chinese Communist regime. Intelligence infiltration. They are here!
HONOR AND DIGNITY
Perhaps with exceptions still to be found in our constitutionally independent agencies of government, there is hardly any nook and cranny in our administrative structures that is not infested by larceny, thievery, graft and corruption. In Customs, DPWH, BIR, DepEd, DND, PNP, in Congress, in the Judiciary, etc, etc. The crooks are all Filipinos! That is fact. That is reality. Have we then become a nation of crooks? Of economic saboteurs? Is ‘it’ in our biology?
And yet we have legions of the concerned, the conscientious and the righteous who all know what is wrong and what must be done! But evidently, nothing is being done about it...hopefully, at least, nothing yet! Hope should not only spring eternal, hopeful action must be made to happen!
Paano po ba maibabalik ang ating naglalahong puri at dangal? (What must we do to bring back our disappearing honor and dignity?)
There was that pre-Christmas cause celebre capturing the nation’s attention. Talk of the town, on air waves and tv screens, in coffee shops and kitchen tables! Much universal laughter and welcoming jubilation were indeed apparent, except from those specifically enumerated as targets of exclusion. We are speaking of the legislated ban on entry into the U.S. by certain Philippine government personalities. The common denominating elements being human rights violations and Sen. Leila de Lima. “Wrongful imprisonment” and “credible information” are catch phrases unmistakable as to intent and coverage.
A new budgetary appropriations law signed by US President Trump prohibits such entry into US territory (including potential freeze and seizure of assets!) of said officials, both past and incumbent, who had an involvement in the political persecution of Sen. Leila de Lima. The law is specifically unequivocal. And the whining from the miscreants becomes suddenly audible!
Alongside, came a new presence in the Filipino public mind. Magnitsky! Actually, a certain Russian tax advisor (our counterpart of CPA/Commission on Audit) named Sergei Magnitsky. He was arrested, tortured and murdered by Russian State police apparatchiks for his monumental exposes of fraud and theft in the highest echelons of Moscow government and society.
The story of Sergei Magnetsky provides the raison d’etre for an aborning world moral order, now exemplified by that U.S. law we now speak of. The European Union, the UK, Canada, etc. have now formed a bee line in support of this unprecedented world reform. An incomparable source of information on this subject matter is contained in the book “Red Notice.” It is an indispensable read for the concerned Filipino. I heartily recommend it. Simply cyber search it.
Providing a backgrounder on international finance, the book “Red Notice” is a crime thriller cum political crusade by a finance and political activist, author Bill Browder. His passion battled overpowering odds, seeking to change the world for good governance and public morality, in memory of Sergei Magnitsky.
The dynamics related by Browder appear to me as an emulative challenge for an as yet inert Filipino morality. Seriously now, we must be awakening.
I thought about Senator Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao on Christmas Eve. What a great Filipino, albeit sadly misguided….and evidently, allowing himself to be ‘used!’ I sincerely wished him to be gifted with the humility of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde. It is not yet too late! I am certainly not alone in wishing him well. But it all depends upon him!
Actually, here is what triggered it off. Manny was a prominence on my internet screen this week. There were multiple postings, with Pacquiao pointedly commenting on Sen. Leila de Lima and how she ‘violated Senate rules.” Imagine, invoking ‘Senate rules,’ by the least schooled and educated of all our legislators ever,one with the record-breaking most absences! Such gall and insolence! That he is gearing for the Presidency in the next elections manifests an ambition run wild.
AID DRIED UP?
The year 2019 is bearing down on its expiry date. The country’s tarnished image, embedded in deeper etch in the world’s esteem, will still linger on an extended run. One such, indeed among many, is the near vanished, once usual expressions of sympathy and actual deeds of succor from friends around the globe. Our natural calamities do occur with regularity but the usual sources of aid have dried up.
Might this be an effect of our government officially rejecting proffered assistance from over a dozen countries because of their expressed consensus backing the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution seeking an investigation of our government’s bloody drug war?
I am ending the year waxing sentimental. I miss the sincerity and the dignity, the simple proprieties and civility of the Aquino years, mere et fils! Mother and son. Don’t you?
May there be a Magnitsky and a Browder in our New Year’s horizon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tomas 'Buddy' Gomez III began his professional media career in ABS-CBN's (previously Chronicle Broadcasting Network) DZQL-Radio Reloj in 1957, after which he spent 25 years with the Ayala Group.
In 1986, the then Pres. Cory Aquino appointed him Consul General to Hawaii and later served as her Press Secretary.
During the Ramos administration, he was chairman and president of state-owned IBC-13 Network.
After government service, he became an ‘OFW’ in the U.S., working as front-desk clerk and then assistant general manager of a hotel. He also worked as a furniture and antique restoration specialist.
He is now retired and lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.